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Construction Spending up 0.1 Percent, Down Year-to-Date

October 1, 2019
Wheel loader on a street.

Construction spending climbed up 0.1 percent in August from July, but declined from year-ago levels, with “divergent trends” in residential and nonresidential categories, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.

How much was spent on construction?

Construction spending totaled $1.287 trillion in August, a gain of 0.1 percent from the July rate, but 1.9 percent less than the August 2018 rate, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date spending for January-August combined fell 2.3 percent from the year-ago total. 

Public construction spending increased 0.4 percent for the month, and 4.6 percent year-to-date. Spending in the first eight months of 2019 climbed 10.8 percent compared to the same period in 2018 for highway and street construction spending, 0.9 percent for educational construction and 9.3 percent for transportation. 

Private nonresidential construction spending decreased 1.0 percent from July to August and 0.1 percent year-to-date. Major private nonresidential segments experienced mixed year-to-date results. Power construction climbed 6.2 percent and commercial construction plummeted 14.9 percent. 

Private residential spending increased 0.9 percent for the month, but slid 5.0 percent year-to-date. Single-family home building rose 1.4 percent from July to August, but decreased 8.4 percent year-to-date. Spending on multifamily projects was down 0.9 percent for the month, but up 6.5 percent year-to-date.

Source: AGC

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